Have you ever wanted someone to be with you? I mean really be with you!
There are so many times in our lives that we just want someone to understand or to teach us something by showing us, rather than just talking about it. Recently, Shelly, our mentally challenged daughter who is remarkable, showed me how important this reality actually is in our lives.
Shelly swims in the Special Olympics. When she first started, there was an older man who got into the pool with her and taught her how to swim. She also had a high school student who would get into the pool with her and work with her.
The difference between the two was pretty amazing. The man had been swimming all his life and competed in swim meets. Now that he was older and had a heart condition, he could no longer swim in meets, but could teach. In spite of being an expert swimmer himself, he was always able to bring his instruction to a level that Shelly could understand.
Carrie, on the other hand, was young and loved to swim/compete in the sport. She was fun and such an encouragement to Shelly. Together, they gave Shelly a great love for swimming.
As time went on, Bill died from his heart condition, and Carrie got married and started to have children. She loved Bill and Carrie, and it was a loss to her when they no longer swam with her.
She adapted to a new coach who did not get in the pool with her, but gave instructions from the side of the pool. Shelly stuck with the sport and continued to do the best she could, but a lot of joy had left in the transition.
As I thought about this, I realized that there are teachers who teach and know their material, and there are teachers who not only teach, but love their students, and get involved with their lives.
The teachers I remember in my life are the ones who wanted to know me, not only teach me. The ones who wanted to get into my pool of life and be involved with me. They would stop in the hall with a kind word, or if they saw me outside of school would stop and talk to me. These are the ones I remember, not only the subject they taught, but who they were.
Recently, the swim season started again. Shelly faithfully packed her suit and towel, and headed for the pool. When she got home, she was so excited. “Guess what mom! Carrie is back and is our coach. And guess what else – she got in the pool with us.”
Lord, help me to always be willing to get into other peoples’ pool of life. Help me not to just be an instructor or a co-worker, but help me to get in the pool of life with them. Thank you that we can all learn and see you even in the smallest things.
Jesus came and lived among us. He got into our pool of life and for those who accept Him as Savior; we have not only this life to live, but eternity.
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall have eternal life. John 3:16
Jesus came and got into our pool of life, and we will never be the same. May we invest in the lives of others.